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Creating Better
Research Reports
What do people really think
about today’s market research
reports?
Ray Poynter & Sue York
April 2019
NewMR 2019 Sponsors
Communication
Gold
Silver
Creating Better
Research Reports
Agenda
• The big picture
• Study Outline
• How good are Market Research reports?
• What are the strengths and weaknesses?
• Are things improving?
• What else did we learn?
• Summary and recommendations
• Q & A
Report creators think they are delivering this
Report receivers think it is more like this
What do ‘people’ think about
market research reports?
• 505 people – connected directly or indirectly to
NewMR – via an English language survey
• 58% MR supplier, 22% Clients, 20% Other (e.g.
suppliers to MR)
• 31% Europe, 25% North America, 24% APAC,
21% Other
• 77% discussed a report they had created, 23% a
report they had received
It is better to give than receive
Excellent/Very
good, 64%
Excellent/Very
good, 24%
Good, 26%
Good, 35%
Very
Poor/Poor/Fair,
39%
Creating Receiving
Quality of Most Recent Report - % Agreeing
Very Poor/Poor/Fair, 9%
40%
Expectations About the
Receiver / Creator Gap
23%
34%
32%
8%
3%
40% (Correct)
30%
20%
10%
No Difference
Quiz Estimates
77 responses from online quiz
Who was
unhappy
with their
last report?
(Very Poor,
Poor or Fair)
Bases
Clients 111, APAC 122, Europe 155,
North America 124, Up to 10 Years in
MR 130, Prioritize Detailed Reports 56,
Reports are worse than 2 years ago 54
16% of Total
39% of Receivers
33% of Clients
26% of Reports are worse than 2
years ago
20% of Prioritize detailed reports
What were the
Poor points?
Focusing on the
Receivers
In what ways (if any) was
the report poor?
88 comments from
receivers of last report.
11% said there was nothing
‘poor’
46% ➢ Lack of insights,
actionable recommendations
and business focus
– “Report was very findings
focussed and generally followed
the flow of the questionnaire
rather than aligning with the
business issues that need to be
solved.”
– “lack of straightforward business
application”
– “Too much detail, not enough
insights and recommendations”
Other Poor
points?
Focusing on the
Receivers
Each mentioned by at least
10% of the Receivers.
In what ways (if any) was the
report poor?
88 comments from receivers
of last report.
Too Long
– “Too long, just charting
numbers”
Too Boring. Not Engaging Enough
– “It was very boring, without
useful insights”
Not Visual Enough
– “Data Visualization must be
improved ”
Not Deep Enough
– “Analysis conducted at a total
level only - no drilling down”
Shockers!
Focusing on the Receivers
😱 “Bad methodology ”
😱 “Data was not in sync with actual market scenario. ”
😱 “Errors in reporting, spelling mistakes, no benchmarks,
no summary or recommendations ”
😱 “Sample size was small, and skewed, not covering the
total market threshold.”
😱 “The data was constantly smoothed by using too many
averages ”
😱 “Critical conclusions and recommendations presented
with insufficient evidence. ”
In what ways (if any) was the report poor? 88 comments from receivers of last report.
2 general Good
points?
Focusing on the
Receivers
In what ways (if any) was the
report good?
91 comments from receivers
of last report.
1. Accessible to the business
– Narrative flow, storytelling,
clean design, good visuals
– “Told a story and easy to read”
– “Charting was really well done,
great infographics work.”
2. Met the objectives
– Recommendations, practical,
impact, business focus,
answered questions
– “The report was concise and
focused on responding to the
objectives of market research.
It helped us solve the decision
problem that existed”
Other good points?
Focusing on the Receivers
Depth
– “Comprehensive”
– “Full of insight, detailed analytics”
Concise
– “Clean, limited number of slides, sticking to main ideas of the
slides/charts.”
– “To the point, and organized”
Methodology
– “Very clever use of conjoint and data modelling to tease out
relative effectiveness of different endorsements”
– “Well grounded method (robust, reliable, accurate)”
In what ways (if any) was the report good? 91 comments from receivers of last report.
Compared with 2-4 years ago?
Are reports …
Better, 37%
Better, 44% Better, 47%
Same, 50%
Same, 46% Same, 44%
Worse, 13% Worse, 10% Worse, 9%
Buyer/User MR Provider Supplier to MR
N=111 N=293 N=85
What 3 Things Matter?
A closed context investigation
Choose three from
□ Concise
□ Detailed
□ Insightful
□ Objective
□ Practical
□ Rigorous
□ Other (please specify)
Which 3 Things Matter?
91%
54% 52%
37%
21%
11% 10%
Insightful Concise Practical Objective Rigorous Detailed Other
Base 497
Priorities (mostly) consistent
Total Other APAC Suppliers
N
America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating
Insightful 91% 1% -1% -3% 3% 2% -3% 2% 1% 1%
Concise 54% -14% 7% -7% 5% -4% 0% -1% 3% 1%
Practical 52% -6% 9% 2% -5% 1% 1% 2% 0% 0%
Objective 37% 16% -2% 2% -8% -1% -2% -2% 1% 0%
Rigorous 21% 4% -7% -1% 0% 3% 3% 3% -1% -1%
Detailed 11% 4% 1% 9% 1% 1% -4% 2% -3% 0%
Other 10% -6% -2% -4% 5% -3% 2% 2% 0% 1%
Other = Africa, Central & South America, & Middle-East
Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating
Base 497 104 120 85 124 111 153 110 290 381
Priorities (mostly) consistent
Total Other APAC Suppliers
N
America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating
Insightful 91% 1% -1% -3% 3% 2% -3% 2% 1% 1%
Concise 54% -14% 7% -7% 5% -4% 0% -1% 3% 1%
Practical 52% -6% 9% 2% -5% 1% 1% 2% 0% 0%
Objective 37% 16% -2% 2% -8% -1% -2% -2% 1% 0%
Rigorous 21% 4% -7% -1% 0% 3% 3% 3% -1% -1%
Detailed 11% 4% 1% 9% 1% 1% -4% 2% -3% 0%
Other 10% -6% -2% -4% 5% -3% 2% 2% 0% 1%
Other = Africa, Central & South America, & Middle-East
Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating
Base 497 104 120 85 124 111 153 110 290 381
Priorities (mostly) consistent
Total Other APAC Suppliers
N
America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating
Insightful 91% 1% -1% -3% 3% 2% -3% 2% 1% 1%
Concise 54% -14% 7% -7% 5% -4% 0% -1% 3% 1%
Practical 52% -6% 9% 2% -5% 1% 1% 2% 0% 0%
Objective 37% 16% -2% 2% -8% -1% -2% -2% 1% 0%
Rigorous 21% 4% -7% -1% 0% 3% 3% 3% -1% -1%
Detailed 11% 4% 1% 9% 1% 1% -4% 2% -3% 0%
Other 10% -6% -2% -4% 5% -3% 2% 2% 0% 1%
Other = Africa, Central & South America, & Middle-East
Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating
Base 497 104 120 85 124 111 153 110 290 381
Priorities (mostly) consistent
Total Other APAC Suppliers
N
America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating
Insightful 91% 1% -1% -3% 3% 2% -3% 2% 1% 1%
Concise 54% -14% 7% -7% 5% -4% 0% -1% 3% 1%
Practical 52% -6% 9% 2% -5% 1% 1% 2% 0% 0%
Objective 37% 16% -2% 2% -8% -1% -2% -2% 1% 0%
Rigorous 21% 4% -7% -1% 0% 3% 3% 3% -1% -1%
Detailed 11% 4% 1% 9% 1% 1% -4% 2% -3% 0%
Other 10% -6% -2% -4% 5% -3% 2% 2% 0% 1%
Other = Africa, Central & South America, & Middle-East
Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating
Base 497 104 120 85 124 111 153 110 290 381
Priorities (mostly) consistent
Total Other APAC Suppliers
N
America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating
Insightful 91% 1% -1% -3% 3% 2% -3% 2% 1% 1%
Concise 54% -14% 7% -7% 5% -4% 0% -1% 3% 1%
Practical 52% -6% 9% 2% -5% 1% 1% 2% 0% 0%
Objective 37% 16% -2% 2% -8% -1% -2% -2% 1% 0%
Rigorous 21% 4% -7% -1% 0% 3% 3% 3% -1% -1%
Detailed 11% 4% 1% 9% 1% 1% -4% 2% -3% 0%
Other 10% -6% -2% -4% 5% -3% 2% 2% 0% 1%
Other = Africa, Central & South America, & Middle-East
Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating
Base 497 104 120 85 124 111 153 110 290 381
Four ‘Other’ priorities
1. Visual Appeal
– “Nice looking”
– “Visually appealing”
2. Actionable
– “Applicable, actionable ”
3. Correct
– “Accurate”
4. Engaging
– “Compelling (tell a good story, emotions)”
Insightful, Concise & Practical
Among 110 Clients
• 22% listed all three in their top 3
• 58% listed two of these in their top 3
– 80% listed two or three of them
• 19% listed just one of them
– And one client listed none
If you do not know the client in advance Insightful,
Concise & Practical are your best options.
But knowing your client is even better.
Other Feedback
Finally, is there anything else
you would like to add about
market research reports or
this survey?
Other Feedback
our top 5 (1)
“1. The biggest improvement we can do is to write the report for
the reader, not the researcher! 2. Don't tell me what's obvious
on the page, tell me what it means to me. 3. I worry the push to
storytelling has gone overboard. We research people and the
story of large groups of people is never that simple or
straightforward. (Does assuming everyone looks like your
persona do more harm than good?) 4. Make sure you
understand what the business questions and assumptions are
before even attempting to write a report. The biggest thing that
invalidates a report in the minds of business people is wasting
their time with what they 'think' is irrelevant or impossible."
Other Feedback
our top 5 (2)
“A current problem is the excessive
use/misinterpretation of the term 'infographics'. A good
infographic is worth its weight in gold, and usually
involves a good graphic designer to deliver the best
impact. However I work with one client team who
thinks that adding numerous icons to an otherwise
dull and pointless chart means infographics”
Other Feedback
our top 5 (3)
“Democratization of data will continue
to lead where marketing research
reporting is going. Dashboards and
live views will shape reporting trends
in the coming years.”
Other Feedback
our top 5 (4)
“Devono essere pratici e semplici da
leggere”
(They must be practical and easy to read –
from Italian, via Google)
Other Feedback
our top 5 (5)
“I see folks having to walk the fine line (and
getting confused) re: a REPORT vs. a
PRESENTATION. I see folks not seeing or
understanding the differences...or
having a client require one to present a
report. ”
Summary
1. Creators think their reports
are better than receivers
think they are
Recommendations
1. Check with your receivers
whether they like what you
are producing
Summary
1. Creators think their reports
are better than receivers
think they are
2. Almost everybody prioritises
‘Insightful’
Recommendations
1. Check with your receivers
whether they like what you
are producing
2. Find out what is insightful for
your clients/receivers
Summary
1. Creators think their reports
are better than receivers
think they are
2. Almost everybody prioritises
‘Insightful’
3. Concise and Practical are
important to many people
Recommendations
1. Check with your receivers
whether they like what you
are producing
2. Find out what is insightful for
your clients/receivers
3. These are core elements
you should master
Summary
1. Creators think their reports
are better than receivers
think they are
2. Almost everybody prioritises
‘Insightful’
3. Concise and Practical are
important to many people
4. 20% prioritise other things
Recommendations
1. Check with your receivers
whether they like what you
are producing
2. Find out what is insightful for
your clients/receivers
3. These are core elements
you should master
4. Check what each client
actually wants/needs
Summary
1. Creators think their reports
are better than receivers
think they are
2. Almost everybody prioritises
‘Insightful’
3. Concise and Practical are
important to many people
4. 20% prioritise other things
5. Easy to read (including
storytelling) and visual are
key strands
Recommendations
1. Check with your receivers
whether they like what you
are producing
2. Find out what is insightful for
your clients/receivers
3. These are core elements
you should master
4. Check what each client
actually wants/needs
5. Remember, meeting the
business needs is
necessary but not sufficient
Q & A
Creating Better
Research Reports
Sue York Ray Poynter
NewMR 2019 Sponsors
Communication
Gold
Silver
Creating Better
Research Reports

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What do people really think about today’s market research reports?

  • 1. Creating Better Research Reports What do people really think about today’s market research reports? Ray Poynter & Sue York April 2019
  • 3. Agenda • The big picture • Study Outline • How good are Market Research reports? • What are the strengths and weaknesses? • Are things improving? • What else did we learn? • Summary and recommendations • Q & A
  • 4. Report creators think they are delivering this Report receivers think it is more like this
  • 5. What do ‘people’ think about market research reports? • 505 people – connected directly or indirectly to NewMR – via an English language survey • 58% MR supplier, 22% Clients, 20% Other (e.g. suppliers to MR) • 31% Europe, 25% North America, 24% APAC, 21% Other • 77% discussed a report they had created, 23% a report they had received
  • 6. It is better to give than receive Excellent/Very good, 64% Excellent/Very good, 24% Good, 26% Good, 35% Very Poor/Poor/Fair, 39% Creating Receiving Quality of Most Recent Report - % Agreeing Very Poor/Poor/Fair, 9% 40%
  • 7. Expectations About the Receiver / Creator Gap 23% 34% 32% 8% 3% 40% (Correct) 30% 20% 10% No Difference Quiz Estimates 77 responses from online quiz
  • 8. Who was unhappy with their last report? (Very Poor, Poor or Fair) Bases Clients 111, APAC 122, Europe 155, North America 124, Up to 10 Years in MR 130, Prioritize Detailed Reports 56, Reports are worse than 2 years ago 54 16% of Total 39% of Receivers 33% of Clients 26% of Reports are worse than 2 years ago 20% of Prioritize detailed reports
  • 9. What were the Poor points? Focusing on the Receivers In what ways (if any) was the report poor? 88 comments from receivers of last report. 11% said there was nothing ‘poor’ 46% ➢ Lack of insights, actionable recommendations and business focus – “Report was very findings focussed and generally followed the flow of the questionnaire rather than aligning with the business issues that need to be solved.” – “lack of straightforward business application” – “Too much detail, not enough insights and recommendations”
  • 10. Other Poor points? Focusing on the Receivers Each mentioned by at least 10% of the Receivers. In what ways (if any) was the report poor? 88 comments from receivers of last report. Too Long – “Too long, just charting numbers” Too Boring. Not Engaging Enough – “It was very boring, without useful insights” Not Visual Enough – “Data Visualization must be improved ” Not Deep Enough – “Analysis conducted at a total level only - no drilling down”
  • 11. Shockers! Focusing on the Receivers 😱 “Bad methodology ” 😱 “Data was not in sync with actual market scenario. ” 😱 “Errors in reporting, spelling mistakes, no benchmarks, no summary or recommendations ” 😱 “Sample size was small, and skewed, not covering the total market threshold.” 😱 “The data was constantly smoothed by using too many averages ” 😱 “Critical conclusions and recommendations presented with insufficient evidence. ” In what ways (if any) was the report poor? 88 comments from receivers of last report.
  • 12. 2 general Good points? Focusing on the Receivers In what ways (if any) was the report good? 91 comments from receivers of last report. 1. Accessible to the business – Narrative flow, storytelling, clean design, good visuals – “Told a story and easy to read” – “Charting was really well done, great infographics work.” 2. Met the objectives – Recommendations, practical, impact, business focus, answered questions – “The report was concise and focused on responding to the objectives of market research. It helped us solve the decision problem that existed”
  • 13. Other good points? Focusing on the Receivers Depth – “Comprehensive” – “Full of insight, detailed analytics” Concise – “Clean, limited number of slides, sticking to main ideas of the slides/charts.” – “To the point, and organized” Methodology – “Very clever use of conjoint and data modelling to tease out relative effectiveness of different endorsements” – “Well grounded method (robust, reliable, accurate)” In what ways (if any) was the report good? 91 comments from receivers of last report.
  • 14. Compared with 2-4 years ago? Are reports … Better, 37% Better, 44% Better, 47% Same, 50% Same, 46% Same, 44% Worse, 13% Worse, 10% Worse, 9% Buyer/User MR Provider Supplier to MR N=111 N=293 N=85
  • 15. What 3 Things Matter? A closed context investigation Choose three from □ Concise □ Detailed □ Insightful □ Objective □ Practical □ Rigorous □ Other (please specify)
  • 16. Which 3 Things Matter? 91% 54% 52% 37% 21% 11% 10% Insightful Concise Practical Objective Rigorous Detailed Other Base 497
  • 17. Priorities (mostly) consistent Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating Insightful 91% 1% -1% -3% 3% 2% -3% 2% 1% 1% Concise 54% -14% 7% -7% 5% -4% 0% -1% 3% 1% Practical 52% -6% 9% 2% -5% 1% 1% 2% 0% 0% Objective 37% 16% -2% 2% -8% -1% -2% -2% 1% 0% Rigorous 21% 4% -7% -1% 0% 3% 3% 3% -1% -1% Detailed 11% 4% 1% 9% 1% 1% -4% 2% -3% 0% Other 10% -6% -2% -4% 5% -3% 2% 2% 0% 1% Other = Africa, Central & South America, & Middle-East Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating Base 497 104 120 85 124 111 153 110 290 381
  • 18. Priorities (mostly) consistent Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating Insightful 91% 1% -1% -3% 3% 2% -3% 2% 1% 1% Concise 54% -14% 7% -7% 5% -4% 0% -1% 3% 1% Practical 52% -6% 9% 2% -5% 1% 1% 2% 0% 0% Objective 37% 16% -2% 2% -8% -1% -2% -2% 1% 0% Rigorous 21% 4% -7% -1% 0% 3% 3% 3% -1% -1% Detailed 11% 4% 1% 9% 1% 1% -4% 2% -3% 0% Other 10% -6% -2% -4% 5% -3% 2% 2% 0% 1% Other = Africa, Central & South America, & Middle-East Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating Base 497 104 120 85 124 111 153 110 290 381
  • 19. Priorities (mostly) consistent Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating Insightful 91% 1% -1% -3% 3% 2% -3% 2% 1% 1% Concise 54% -14% 7% -7% 5% -4% 0% -1% 3% 1% Practical 52% -6% 9% 2% -5% 1% 1% 2% 0% 0% Objective 37% 16% -2% 2% -8% -1% -2% -2% 1% 0% Rigorous 21% 4% -7% -1% 0% 3% 3% 3% -1% -1% Detailed 11% 4% 1% 9% 1% 1% -4% 2% -3% 0% Other 10% -6% -2% -4% 5% -3% 2% 2% 0% 1% Other = Africa, Central & South America, & Middle-East Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating Base 497 104 120 85 124 111 153 110 290 381
  • 20. Priorities (mostly) consistent Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating Insightful 91% 1% -1% -3% 3% 2% -3% 2% 1% 1% Concise 54% -14% 7% -7% 5% -4% 0% -1% 3% 1% Practical 52% -6% 9% 2% -5% 1% 1% 2% 0% 0% Objective 37% 16% -2% 2% -8% -1% -2% -2% 1% 0% Rigorous 21% 4% -7% -1% 0% 3% 3% 3% -1% -1% Detailed 11% 4% 1% 9% 1% 1% -4% 2% -3% 0% Other 10% -6% -2% -4% 5% -3% 2% 2% 0% 1% Other = Africa, Central & South America, & Middle-East Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating Base 497 104 120 85 124 111 153 110 290 381
  • 21. Priorities (mostly) consistent Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating Insightful 91% 1% -1% -3% 3% 2% -3% 2% 1% 1% Concise 54% -14% 7% -7% 5% -4% 0% -1% 3% 1% Practical 52% -6% 9% 2% -5% 1% 1% 2% 0% 0% Objective 37% 16% -2% 2% -8% -1% -2% -2% 1% 0% Rigorous 21% 4% -7% -1% 0% 3% 3% 3% -1% -1% Detailed 11% 4% 1% 9% 1% 1% -4% 2% -3% 0% Other 10% -6% -2% -4% 5% -3% 2% 2% 0% 1% Other = Africa, Central & South America, & Middle-East Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating Base 497 104 120 85 124 111 153 110 290 381
  • 22. Four ‘Other’ priorities 1. Visual Appeal – “Nice looking” – “Visually appealing” 2. Actionable – “Applicable, actionable ” 3. Correct – “Accurate” 4. Engaging – “Compelling (tell a good story, emotions)”
  • 23. Insightful, Concise & Practical Among 110 Clients • 22% listed all three in their top 3 • 58% listed two of these in their top 3 – 80% listed two or three of them • 19% listed just one of them – And one client listed none If you do not know the client in advance Insightful, Concise & Practical are your best options. But knowing your client is even better.
  • 24. Other Feedback Finally, is there anything else you would like to add about market research reports or this survey?
  • 25. Other Feedback our top 5 (1) “1. The biggest improvement we can do is to write the report for the reader, not the researcher! 2. Don't tell me what's obvious on the page, tell me what it means to me. 3. I worry the push to storytelling has gone overboard. We research people and the story of large groups of people is never that simple or straightforward. (Does assuming everyone looks like your persona do more harm than good?) 4. Make sure you understand what the business questions and assumptions are before even attempting to write a report. The biggest thing that invalidates a report in the minds of business people is wasting their time with what they 'think' is irrelevant or impossible."
  • 26. Other Feedback our top 5 (2) “A current problem is the excessive use/misinterpretation of the term 'infographics'. A good infographic is worth its weight in gold, and usually involves a good graphic designer to deliver the best impact. However I work with one client team who thinks that adding numerous icons to an otherwise dull and pointless chart means infographics”
  • 27. Other Feedback our top 5 (3) “Democratization of data will continue to lead where marketing research reporting is going. Dashboards and live views will shape reporting trends in the coming years.”
  • 28. Other Feedback our top 5 (4) “Devono essere pratici e semplici da leggere” (They must be practical and easy to read – from Italian, via Google)
  • 29. Other Feedback our top 5 (5) “I see folks having to walk the fine line (and getting confused) re: a REPORT vs. a PRESENTATION. I see folks not seeing or understanding the differences...or having a client require one to present a report. ”
  • 30. Summary 1. Creators think their reports are better than receivers think they are Recommendations 1. Check with your receivers whether they like what you are producing
  • 31. Summary 1. Creators think their reports are better than receivers think they are 2. Almost everybody prioritises ‘Insightful’ Recommendations 1. Check with your receivers whether they like what you are producing 2. Find out what is insightful for your clients/receivers
  • 32. Summary 1. Creators think their reports are better than receivers think they are 2. Almost everybody prioritises ‘Insightful’ 3. Concise and Practical are important to many people Recommendations 1. Check with your receivers whether they like what you are producing 2. Find out what is insightful for your clients/receivers 3. These are core elements you should master
  • 33. Summary 1. Creators think their reports are better than receivers think they are 2. Almost everybody prioritises ‘Insightful’ 3. Concise and Practical are important to many people 4. 20% prioritise other things Recommendations 1. Check with your receivers whether they like what you are producing 2. Find out what is insightful for your clients/receivers 3. These are core elements you should master 4. Check what each client actually wants/needs
  • 34. Summary 1. Creators think their reports are better than receivers think they are 2. Almost everybody prioritises ‘Insightful’ 3. Concise and Practical are important to many people 4. 20% prioritise other things 5. Easy to read (including storytelling) and visual are key strands Recommendations 1. Check with your receivers whether they like what you are producing 2. Find out what is insightful for your clients/receivers 3. These are core elements you should master 4. Check what each client actually wants/needs 5. Remember, meeting the business needs is necessary but not sufficient
  • 35. Q & A Creating Better Research Reports Sue York Ray Poynter